Another Republican Says Something Really, Really Dumb About Rape
Apparently, Todd Akin injected something into Republican DNA, because Republicans just can’t seem to shut up about rape:
Another day, another Republican making an ill-advised comment about rape. Celeste Greig, the head of the largest GOP volunteer organization in California — Ronald Reagan once called the California Republican Assembly “the conscience of the Republican Party — told the Woodland, California Daily Democrat that rape almost never leads to pregnancies because the body is too traumatized.
“Granted, the percentage of pregnancies due to rape is small because it’s an act of violence, because the body is traumatized. I don’t know what percentage of pregnancies are due to the violence of rape. Because of the trauma the body goes through,” she told the newspaper before arriving at the state GOP’s spring convention in Sacramento.
Ironically, she got on the subject while criticizing Rep. Todd Akin, the former Missouri Senate candidate who infamously said women’s bodies have a way of shutting down pregnancies in the case of “legitimate rape.” “That was an insensitive remark,” Greig said. “I’m sure he regretted it. He should have come back and apologized.” Greig, however, went on to essentially reaffirm part of Akin’s logic.
One wonders if the fact that Greig is a woman will have any impact on where this story goes, but it’s worth noting, as has been done in the past, that the meme that rape rarely results in pregnancy simply isn’t true:
The study, “Are per-incident rape-pregnancy rates higher than per-incident consensual pregnancy rates?” was published in the journal Human Nature by Jonathan A. Gottschall and Tiffani A. Gottschall, two professors at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y. They used data from the federally administered National Violence Against Women survey. There, they found a sample of 405 women between the ages of 12 and 45 who had experienced one incidence of rape that included intercourse.
Of those 405 women included in the sample, 6.4 percent — or 26 women — reported a pregnancy that year. A separate large-scale study showed that, for the general population of women that age, the per-incidence pregnancy rate for a single act of intercourse is 3.1 percent.
As to why rape victims would have a higher rate of pregnancy, the Gottschalls put forward a few theories. They look at previous research, which suggests that men are more attracted to women who are fertile and ovulating. In consensual sex, women can decline sex at a time where there might be a high likelihood of pregnancy. That’s not the case in rape.
“Rapists do not wait to be chosen, rapists choose,” they write. “As such, within the limits of opportunity, rapists would be able to target women bearing cues [of fertility].”
Beyond the statistics, though, one thought comes to mind. Why can’t Republicans just keep their mouths shut about rape?